Monthly Archives: May 2013

Ferrari Suspect Mechanical Fault, Massa Discharged From Hospital

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has been discharged from hospital in Monaco following his heavy shunt during the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Brazilian seemingly locked up his brakes in the run up to Monaco’s famous Saint Devote corner, violently hit the armco barrier before sliding sideways into the TecPro energy absorbing barrier at the first corner, in an identical incident to his FP3 smash which saw him miss Qualifying as the team rebuilt the stricken Ferrari.

On Saturday, Massa climbed unaided from his F138 cockpit before returning to the paddock and complaining of shoulder pains. Following the incident on Sunday, which happened on lap 31 of the 78 lap event, Felipe once again climbed unaided from the cockpit as Marshalls began a speedy car removal to ensure the race could continue undisturbed.

However, the new F1 doctor, Dr. Ian Roberts, was given his first on-track action when the medical car was called to assist Massa. This saw the Safety Car deployed for several laps as the sister Mercedes brought Roberts to Massa where he attached a neck collar. Massa was then taken to a local hospital, which doubles up as the track’s medical centre, for check-ups following the big impact.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Dominecalli reassured media of Massa’s well-being, saying he was doing fine and would be fit for the Canadian Grand Prix which takes place in Montreal in two weeks.

While driver error was suspected following Massa’s Saturday crash, it was highly doubted that a driver of Massa’s caliber would repeat the exact same mistake in the same manner at the same place – something that Ferrari’s technical director agreed with.

“Today’s accident looked very similar to what happened in the third free practice session, but in fact the two incidents are very different.” Pat Fry said on Sunday evening. “It seems that today’s incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car. It’s too early to say precisely what happened and in the next few days, we will try to ascertain the exact cause back in Maranello.”


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Kobayashi Completes Ferrari Run

Kamui Kobayashi returned to the wheel of a Formula One car today, Monday, when he ran the team’s 2010 challenger.

The Japanese driver, who lost his place in F1 at the end of 2012 when he failed to find funding to continue his career with Sauber, in now a part of Ferrari’s World Endurance Championship team. Today’s run was to prepare the 26-year-old for a demo run he will complete in the same machine in Moscow in late July.

The former Sauber and Toyota racer said he was left happy after his time behind the wheel of the Ferrari F10.

“The first feeling was one of great happiness. I raced against this car and I knew how quick it was, so it was very important to get some experience of it.

“It will be very nice to drive an F1 car again at this event in Moscow and for me it will be a double debut: the first time at the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car in an event and my first visit to the city.”

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Murray Walker Recovering From Fall

‘The Voice of Formula One’, Murray Walker is recovering from a fall he suffered while holidaying in Germany.

The legendary commentator was enjoying a cruise on the river Rhine when he fell and fractured his pelvis and knees. The 89-year-old is now back in the UK where he is recovering.

Murray began work as a commentator in 1960 and ran up until 2002 when he retired. He is remembered for his great partnership with former World Champion James Hunt, and more so for his so-called ‘Murrayisms’ which were mistakes made during commentary in the heat of the action, such as “He’s obviously gone in for a wheel change. I say obviously because I can’t see it”, “I can’t imagine what kind of problem Senna has. I imagine it must be some sort of grip problem” or his bang-on philosophy on Formula One, “Anything can happen in Formula One – and it usually does!”. 

Get well soon Murray.

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Legal Action Possibly Looming For Pirelli Following Breach Of Rules

Breaking news in the paddock is that the stewards in Monaco have ruled AGAINST Pirelli and Mercedes. The tire supplier came under fire from big names Red Bull and Ferrari this morning when news broke that the Silver Arrows had run a three day private test following on from the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Pirelli and Mercedes defended themselves saying they had permission to run a private test with whatever team they wanted as it would focus on the 2014 tires or the new rear tires to be brought in from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards.

Many in the paddock believed Ferrari and Red Bull’s objection to the test would be denied and hence used as a clarification for the rules or possibly bring in a law that stated that all teams would need to be notified of a private tire test involving a team with a 2013 chassis.

At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible for it to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car. Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is a provision for them to carry out up to 1000km of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so

Pirelli and Mercedes-AMG were advised by the FIA that such a development test could be possible if carried out by Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver, and that such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity. 

Following this communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test. 

In addition, with regard to the application of the sport’s rules, including principles of sporting equity, it should be remembered that the International Sporting Code provides that on the basis of a report of the stewards of the meeting, or on its own initiative, the prosecuting body of the FIA may bring a matter before the International Tribunal.

The Tribunal may decide to inflict penalties that would supercede and penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules. 

This breach by Pirelli could very well spell disaster for the tire manufacturer who has repeatedly come under fire this year for the easily degradable nature of the tire causing both stalemates on track alongside several worrying incidents involving tire delaminations – tire wear particularly affecting Mercedes which is believed to be the motive behind Pirelli’s decision to use them at the test.

Furthermore, The FIA has denied having knowledge of the test, which could now see both Pirelli and Mercedes brought before the FIA International Tribunal. I can’t imagine any serious ramifications for Mercedes, but Pirelli are certainly in big trouble.

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VIDEO – Grosjean Crashes Into Ricciardo

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean crashes into Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in the run up to the Nouvelle Chicane on lap 63 of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Frenchman was subsequently given a ten-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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May 26, 2013 · 5:40 pm

Grosjean Handed Grid Drop

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean has been handed a ten-place grid drop for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix following his collision with Daniel Ricciardo during today’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The Frenchman outbraked himself on the run up to the Nouvelle Chicane and smashed into the back of Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso. The two drivers took to the escape road at the chicane, Grosjean rejoining through a side exit while Ricciardo was forced to retire immediately as a result of the damage.

Grosjean pitted for a new front wing and rejoined the cue behind the Safety Car but was subsequently called back into the pits by his team to retire the car.

It’s a weekend to forget for Grosjean who caused three hurried car rebuilds for the team before the race. He smashed into the TecPro barrier at Saint Devote twice during the practice sessions aswell as damaging rear suspension at the Nouvelle Chicane when he nicked the barriers and gave himself a puncture.

Romain’s team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen is also under investigation by the stewards amid reports the Finn went too fast behind the Safety Car.

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Rosberg Takes Commanding Monaco Grand Prix Victory

Nico Rosberg has won the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix in an extreme show of dominance from the German who survived a red flag and several Safety Car stints to keep the lead from lights to flag, having grabbed his third consecutive pole position. 

Jules Bianchi was off to a bad start. Having pulled over in the opening seconds of Qualifying yesterday, he failed to make it off the grid for the parade lap. Nico Rosberg led the remaining 21 drivers around as Bianchi was pushed back for a pitlane start.

Two minutes later the grid formed up, the lights went on, the lights went off and they all charged forwards. Surprisingly, the drivers managed to make their way safely through the first corner including a particularly reserved through Saint Devote. Giedo van der Garde was in the wars at the hairpin as he made contact with Pastor Maldonado and lost a front wing.

The top eight consisted of Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Perez, Button as the Hamilton began to hold up the Red Bull’s behind him. The yellow flag came out at turn 10 for debris while the McLarens were in the wars, Sergio Perez forcing Button towards the barrier before cutting the Nouvelle chicane. Several corners later, he attempted the same, forcing Jenson towards the barrier and cutting the swimming pool chicane. Perez’s recklessness wasn’t anywhere near finished.

Yellow flags came back out again, this time as Charles Pic was parked on the pit entrance with a fiery Caterham. The Frenchman was out of the car in no time as smoke-filled up the Rascasse section.

The next fifteen laps or so resulted in all but one overtake as Paul di Resta made a nice move on Felipe Massa into Saint Devote. Several laps later, the Brazilian repeated the bizarre incident which took him out of Qualifying. He locked his brakes in the run up to Turn 1 and hit the barrier, sliding sideways into the TecPro barrier across the track. He climbed out of the car but a Safety Car was deployed as the Medical Car was needed. Dr. Ian Roberts got his first race appearance as he attached a neck brace to the Brazilian who was complaining of shoulder problems after his shunt on Saturday. Several laps later the Mercedes left turn 1 to take Felipe to hospital for a check up, and allowed the Safety Car to come in and let the racing resume.

Nico Rosberg caught Sebastian Vettel sleeping on the restart as he darted away from his countryman while third placed Mark Webber was left defending hard against the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Further down the grid, Sergio Perez saw a gap into the Nouvelle Chicane and stuck his nose up the inside of Jenson Button. It was a cheeky move but it paid off. However, this successful overtake would prove disastrous for Perez as the race progressed.

Jules Bianchi was suddenly shown limping back to the pits with a truly mangled front wing and a red flag was thrown. It seemed a bit extreme for front wing damage until Pastor Maldonado’s utterly destroyed William’s was shown in the barriers at Tabac. Replays explained that Max Chilton moved across the Venezuelan which caused the William’s front wing to buckle and fall under the car which launched the front of the car upwards and into the TecPro barriers. Bianchi subsequently hit the barriers which caused the damage to his front wing.

Thirty-five minutes later the race restarted under Safety Car conditions, as per usual for a red flag. After one lap the Mercedes came in the pits which allowed Rosberg to again charge away from Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull as Hamilton launched another attack on Webber for third. Race control also announced that Max Chilton was awarded a drive through penalty for causing the William’s aerial display.

Sergio Perez, having earlier tried a similar, failed, overtake on Fernando Alonso, stuck his McLaren up the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Nouvelle Chicane. By stuck, I mean he pretty much drove straight on and forced the Finn to cut the corner to prevent a collision. Kimi blasted the Mexican on the radio, saying “That idiot was tried to hit me, tried to ruin my race”. 

Adrian Sutil caught Fernando Alonso sleeping a few laps later to pull off a spectacular overtake at the hairpin while Jules Bianchi stuck his Marussia in the barrier at Saint Devote. It was a very light collision in comparison to Massa’s shunt but it ruled Bianchi out of the race – an end to an awful weekend for the Frenchman. With two of the French racers out of the race, two remained – until Romain Grosjean was involved in a huge crash with Daniel Ricciardo. In the run down to the Nouvelle Chicane, again, Ricciardo seemed to break early and Grosjean was sent straight onto the rear wing of the Toro Rosso. Ricciardo retired on the spot while Grosjean pitted, rejoined and returned to the pits where Lotus retired the car.

The Safety Car was back out for this incident and pitted with 12 laps of the race remaining. Sergio Perez was straight over the back of Raikkonen and attempted an overtake on the Finn. Not long after his first attempt failed, his second attempt failed too. He stuck his nose up the inside of the Lotus as Kimi turned into the chicane and gave the 2007 World Champion a puncture. Next lap, Perez swerved at the same spot as if trying to make an overtake on an invisible car and went straight on. He got wide at Rascasse several corners later before turning into the escape road to retire the car, presumably nursing damage from his careless driving.

With Perez out-of-the-way, the surviving cars raced to the end of the race as “Rosberg became the first Rosberg to win the Monaco Grand Prix since Rosberg” as one Twitter used put it. Indeed, Nico Rosberg followed his father’s example, leading from lights to flag to secure the win ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second and Mark Webber third.

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Mark Webber
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. Adrian Sutil
  6. Jenson Button
  7. Fernando Alonso
  8. Jean-Eric Vergne
  9. Paul di Resta
  10. Kimi Raikkonen
  11. Nico Hulkenberg
  12. Valtteri Bottas
  13. Esteban Gutierrez
  14. Max Chilton
  15. Giedo van der Garde
  • Sergio Perez
  • Romain Grosjean
  • Daniel Ricciardo
  • Jules Bianchi
  • Pastor Maldonado
  • Felipe Massa
  • Charles Pic

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